This design focuses on space. Due to the essence of an art museum is to provide a ‘You” or wandering experience, space and spatial relationship naturally become the main design theme. We introduced the concept of ‘pure architectural space’: a series of outdoor or semi-outdoor spaces serving as transitions among programs. Their forms possess dramatic tensions, intensifying the temporal and spatial dynamics during the ‘You’.The overall spatial structure of this building complex is arranged in ‘Yuan’ (courtyards) and ‘Jin’ (layers), generating a dialogue with the Chinese traditions.
Our design was also influenced by the content of the art museum - Mr. Wu Dayu’s art. His pursuits of ‘Li’ (force) and ‘Ning’ (serenity) in his small paintings urged us to contemplate the scale of architectural space. Mr. Wu’s poem, King Kong,, further portrays the fluidity of architectural experience, which can be said as a definition of ‘You’:
Shadow wants to fool figure
Time is laughing at space.
With no sound and no trace,
I come in and out of the darkness of time.
Paying attention to spatial experiences allows us a break away from static compositions, which means the formal relationship between stereoscopic volumes and planar elevations are dissolved. Hereto, the work of a Swedish architect, Sigurd Lewerentz, gave us great inspirations.
The structural system of this project is relatively conventional: partly concrete slabs and load-bearing walls without beams and columns; and partly steel frames.
Region + Material
Besides space, we also pay tribute in our design to the vernacular houses in Wuzhen, which is part of Jiangnan (south of the Yangtze River), in terms of material and color. Hence, using clay tiles on the roofs and concrete tiles on the walls as well as exposing concrete walls constitute a rich and subtle color scheme of black-white-gray.